This website is an extension for the limited pages of our book so this case study covers Xentum, which has been operating on a financial service since 2004.
With a programme of digital transformation, this SME have been able to achieve:
- Increased output by 40%.
- Retained all our their staff during this period of huge change.
- By the end of the year, the business grew by 25%
- Been able to review all our clients’ needs in the first 6 months of the year instead of this activity taking a year.
Set up as a small family business with 3 staff the decision was made in late 2017 given the businesses catchment of clients to try to grow to become more impactful in the financial planning sector.
Xentum as a businesses is not focused on selling products to client such as life insurance or specific investments. The business believes in the financial planning process that takes a more holistic look at a client’s finances and considers and reflects what is best for them in the long term.
This is not as profitable as selling clients specific product, but we believe it offers a client longer lasting value and the business a more sustainable relationship.
Xentum clients are private and professional clients of varying wealth positions who value financial planning. All these clients receive full financial planning with the major on focus utilizing lifetime planning software Voyant to develop a sustainable lifespan for each client.
Xentum has grown organically with the majority of new clients coming from referrals from existing clients or from our extensive network of professional intermediaries (predominantly lawyers and accountants).
Xentum guides its clients through a variety of investment products:
- Retirement planning
- Savings and investments
- Medical and life insurance
- Business assurance
- Property purchase
Xentum’s growth has been sustained by engaging with clients whose values meet our own and ensuring the advice we give is considered, researched and fits the client’s aspirations fully whilst ensuring it fits their capacity for risk and capacity for loss which is the essence of financial planning.
Xentum’s journey into digital transformation
As a family business considerable amount of our infrastructure was built around multiple systems, spreadsheets and paper, nothing was integrated. The business had come from simple beginnings with a focus on giving the clients a better experience.
Thus in 2017 Xentum had over 300 clients and the majority of their information being duplicated on both paper and electronic form which made the business inefficient. As a business our approach had been save everything to be on the safe side as there was a sincere belief in the lack of resilience offered by technology.
We made a decision, though it was a considerable task of sifting through all the business paper documentation and redefining out entire business process, as the potential opportunities of utilising technology were so great we could not ignore the efficiency it offered us.
For a family business and specifically in the financial services sector where paper is king, this was a challenge. It required new routines of work giving people more technological freedom, some of who this was alien to.
Implementing Microsoft 365 business to allow single space data storage via share point and zee drive allowed us to create a back office infrastructure that could support the task we needed to complete.
As a business we spent 4 months with a dedicated resources scanning and cleansing files. During the process we identified almost 55,000 items that we needed to store and hold within share point.
The team uploaded this data to our Microsoft 365 and we dedicated resource reviewing the contents of the scans to ensure we were completely accurate in our approach.
Initially the team was very uncertain of this approach and there were teething issue on where data was stored and how accessible the information was.
Whilst we moved all our client files on to 365 we also moved all our finance infrastructure to electronic and integrated systems such as Xero and receipt bank. We hold not psychical receipts or invoices now anywhere in the business.
We have in the last year grown from 7 to almost 20 staff, we are now confident on the information we hold know and the security of this data. The offsite cloud facility has given much more resilience than own serve or paper files would.
We now as business have a clear framework of process which we have placed on the same Backoffice system that holds our data.
Xentum 6 months later is now a mostly paperless business and the client records reflect our GDPR requirements.
We have also added in Docusign for our client agreements and Secure Vault as a electronically protected way to pass information to a client which has sped up the process again and removed the requirement for postage which holds risks for the business.
It may seem like these reduce human contact but we have found with staff we can focus on what is important the client instead of the administrative process.
We have seen a reduction in our running costs on the administrative side has been considerable. Less paper, less materials, less postage etc.
The fear around losing our paper based systems has evaporated and we now have staff asking for more technology to support them. The staff who said they were two long in the tooth to change are now some of the biggest advocates of using more technology.
Most of the business now operates a two monitor set up and our desks are paper free.
Our productivity increase has been tangible, we can see this in the amount of client meetings we can have and the time it taking to turn around a client’s case.
This productivity has also allowed us to justify implementing a flexible work system and a longer Christmas break as our turnaround times have unquestionably reduced.
We have found we are much more purposeful on the information that we keep and our more focused on the reason why we would hold information.
As a business we believe in full integration where every systems works in synergy to make effective outcomes.
All the systems we have engaged over the last 12 months talk to each other. All the information we hold has a purpose and a planned outcome to fuel the chain.
Tools Xentum use
- Microsoft 365 Business
- HR Locker
- Receipt bank
Future plans for Xentum
We have found by introducing more technology we are fitting in with the shifting market better, as clients are demanding quicker response times and more intuitive engagements.
As a business we are planning on embracing technology further and looking to drive innovation through technological interrogation. The American market for financial services is at the forefront of this development with products built with open API’s so they integrate across the board.
We are now further investing again in systems that increase our ability to impact the client journey such as online proposal tools and client onboarding tools that are one click solutions.
These tools will remove the labour intensive nature of the industry we are in and fits in with our motto ‘Grab life\.
Though its labouring the point we have found the technology is allowing us the ability to spend more time with our clients in a meaningful manner instead of making ever interaction a data gathering exercise, we now can really take the time to understand them, which is ultimately what our regulator wants us to do and it is what we are passionate about.
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